Functional adaptation for unique habitats in the species of intertidal limpets Patelloida

Shizuko Nakai, Norio Wakayama, Satoshi Chiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many studies have shown that physical environmental factors cause phenotypic diversity in limpets. However, no studies have documented how substrate conditions (surface shape and topology) affect adhesive force and how they regulate shell morphology in limpets. The intertidal limpet Patelloida pygmaea, having a flat shell, is found exclusively on oyster shells, while P. conulus, with an extremely high shell, is found on Batillaria cumingi. The adhesive force on the B. cumingi was significantly greater in P. conulus than in P. pygmaea, whereas the force on the oyster shell showed no significant difference between these species. On the B. cumingi, a significantly positive correlation was found between adhesive force and volume in P. conulus, and no significant correlation was found in P. pygmaea. In contrast, on the oyster shell, a significant positive correlation was found between adhesive force and volume in both of the two species. These results suggest that the shell of P. conulus becomes higher with increasing own shell size by keeping aperture area relative to body size as small as possible. These morphological differences are most likely due to an adaptation to utilize different habitats and adhere to substrates with different structure and topology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-552
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Volume92
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May

Keywords

  • adhesive force
  • limpet
  • shell morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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